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Two Lady Golden Tigers opt to continue athletic careers

By Bernie Moussad for the FCT

It is almost every athlete’s dream to play the sport she loves at the next level. For Russellville softball’s Jakari Suggs and Jess Guzman, this dream is becoming a reality.

“These are both young ladies who are dedicated. We appreciate the things y’all did here at Russellville to help get us to the point we got to this season,” said Coach John Smith to his Lady Golden Tigers. “I know your teammates are proud of you, and I know that you know that you wouldn’t have gotten here without these teammates. We’re very proud of you, and we wish you all luck.”

Both members of the 2015/16 Russellville Lady Tigers Softball team have been signed to play college ball at Miles College, which is located south of Birmingham in Fairfield.

Suggs and Guzman were pitcher and catcher, respectively, for the Golden Tigers. Continuing on the same team as Miles Golden Bears, Smith said they will know how to read each other for a play and be able to trust each other when a game comes down to the wire.

The pair were discovered during summer travel ball playing for Coach Chris Cummings. He helped the both of them improve their games and stand out during this season, which made this opportunity available to them.

Both Suggs and Guzman were essential in getting the Russellville softball team to the state tournament for the first time in the school’s history in spring 2016.

The catcher plays an extremely important role. “Being catcher, you make sure you know what your pitcher needs, what plays need to be made, and just be the eyes over the whole field – just making sure everything is in the right spot,” Guzman said.

Suggs’ role on the field was also very important. “My part was making sure I was on point, hitting my spots, throwing the right pitches, trying to get ground balls so we could get outs and make sure they didn’t get base hits,” she said.

Both are ready to face the realm of college ball.